Seed World

The Seed Industry will Struggle if we don’t Take Steps to Adapt

It’s early morning and I am working remotely from my new home office, which just a few months ago was a spare bedroom.

The COVID-19 pandemic is a major historical event that will have an unprecedented impact on the Canadian seed industry. A significant change in our thinking is happening and priorities are being reassessed. The change is happening in our personal lives and in our businesses, and so it shouldn’t be a surprise that we are seeing it in our government.

The pandemic has amplified the reality that was already upon us even prior to COVID-19. The seed industry will struggle if we don’t take steps to adapt today.

Government has no choice but to focus their resources on two priorities — public health and safety. Under our current system, without changing and adapting, we can only expect the cost of seed production to go up.

Public realization that the ability to produce and distribute food takes a massive effort from a large supply chain has come to the forefront, with a big focus on distribution infrastructure and the impact of government spending when it comes to public health and food security.

There will be an impact on how we work and do business. We will no doubt work more remotely in the future and that means we need tools to network, meet, learn, collaborate and be productive online.

That means rural internet access and stability has risen in importance.

Less travel to and from the office will mean a smaller environmental footprint, but organizations will also have to keep searching for the right balance. We naturally communicate much more efficiently in person. In online meetings there can be a tendency to talk over each other and it’s sometimes harder to vocalize concerns. We’re all learning as we go.

I’m happy to report we have instructed our auditors that they may begin conducting on-site audits again if both the facility and auditor are comfortable with an on-site visit.

CSI released a list of recommendations for auditors in regard to minimizing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 during CSI activities. Visit our website for details.

Also, CSI is happy to introduce Dave Lockman as our newest team member. Dave will be fulfilling the role of programs coordinator and will have an immediate positive impact on our organic program. Dave has over a decade of experience in organic certification. His knowledge and experience extends beyond the organic industry as well.

He has over 20 years of experience in agriculture and food and has worked in the crop protection, seed and dairy industries.

Feel free to contact him any time at